BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to ban the sale of menthol products and flavored tobacco. This session lawmakers are fighting to repeal that decision.
State Senator Ryan Fattman wants to see the state remove it’s ban on menthol products and flavored tobacco so that stores can sell them once again. Over the last year, Massachusetts has seen a 24 percent drop in tobacco sales which means less revenue for the state and for convenience store owners.
Senator Fattman’s bill was heard by the Public Health committee earlier Wednesday and opponents made it clear that the ban should stay in place to protect the health of children in particular.
“When we talk about lost revenue and things like that, the real cost is in our kids’ health and also there’s a huge healthcare cost because of smoking related illness in Massachusetts,” Marc Hymovitz said in his testimony.
Convenience store owners across the state were outraged when this law passed and now they say they are hopeful that the ban will be repealed so their cliental doesn’t have to go across state lines to buy the products that they want.
The public health committee didn’t make a decision on the bill on Wednesday. The menthol ban did have a lot of support on Beacon Hill when it passed so getting the law repealed will not be an easy task.